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Before leaving New York Miss Anthony
published 60,000 tracts, which were distributed in Kansas with a
liberal hand under the frank of Senators Ross and Pomeroy. Thus the
thinking and unthinking in every school district were abundantly
supplied with woman suffrage literature, such as Mrs. Mill's splendid
article in the _Westminster Review_, the best speeches of John Stuart
Mill, Theodore Parker, Wendell Phillips, George William Curtis,
Elizabeth Cady Stanton's argument before the Constitutional
Convention, Parker Pillsbury's "Mortality of Nations," Thomas
Wentworth Higginson's "Woman and her Wishes," Henry Ward Beecher's
"Woman's Duty to Vote," and Mrs. C. I. H. Nichols' "Responsibility of
Woman." There was scarcely a log cabin in the State that could not
boast one or more of these documents, which the liberality of a few
eastern friends[81] enabled the "Equal Rights Association" to print
and circulate.

The opposition were often challenged to debate this question in
public, but uniformly refused, knowing full well, since their powder
in this battle consisted of vulgar abuse and ridicule, that they had
no arguments to advance. But it chanced that on one occasion by
mistake, a meeting was appointed for the opposing forces at the same
time and place where Olympia Brown was advertised to speak. This gave
her an opportunity of testing her readiness in debate with Judge
Sears. Of this occasion a correspondent says:

DISCUSSION AT OSKALOOSA.--_To the Editor of the Kansas State
Journal_: For the first time during the canvass for Universal
Suffrage, the opponents of the two wrongs, "Manhood Suffrage" and
"Woman Suffrage," met in open debate at this place last evening.
The largest church in the place was crowded to its utmost, every
inch of space being occupied. Judge Gilchrist was called to the
chair, and first introduced Judge Sears, who made the following
points in favor of Manhood Suffrage:

1st. That in the early days of the Republic no discrimination was
made against negroes on account of color.

He proved from the constitutions and charters of the original
thirteen States, that all of them, with the exception of South
Carolina, allowed the colored freeman the ballot, upon the same
basis and conditions as the white man. That we were not
conferring a right, but restoring one which the fathers in their
wisdom had never deprived the colored man of. He showed how the
word white had been forced into the State constitutions, and
advocated that it should be stricken out, it being the last relic
of the "slave power."

2d. That the negro needed the ballot for his protection and
elevation.

3d. That he deserved the ballot. He fought with our fathers side
by side in the war of the revolution. He did the same thing in
the war of 1812, and in the war of the rebellion. He fought for
us because he was loyal and loved the old flag. If any class of
men had ever earned the enjoyment of franchise the negro had.

4th. The Republican party owed it to him.

5th. The enfranchisement of the negro was indispensable to
reconstruction of the late rebellious States upon a basis that
should secure to the loyal men of the South the control of the
government in those States. Congress had declared it was
necessary, and the most eminent men of the nation had failed to
discover any other means by which the South could be restored to
the Union, that should secure safety, prosperity, and happiness.
There was not loyalty enough in the South among the whites to
elect a loyal man to an inferior office.

Upon each one of these points the Judge elaborated at length, and
made really a fine speech, but his evident disconcertion showed
that he knew what was to follow. It was expected that when Miss
Brown was introduced many would leave, owing to the strange
feeling against Female Suffrage in and about Oscaloosa; but not
one left, the crowd grew more dense. A more eloquent speech never
was uttered in this town than Miss Brown delivered; for an hour
and three-quarters the audience was spell-bound as she advanced
from point to point. She had been longing for such an
opportunity, and had become weary of striking off into open air;
and she proved how thoroughly acquainted she was with her subject
as she took up each point advanced by her opponent, not denying
their truth, but showing by unanswerable logic that if it were
good under certain reasons for the negro to vote, it was ten
times better for the same reasons for the women to vote.

The argument that the right to vote is not a natural right, but
acquired as corporate bodies acquire their rights, and that the
ballot meant "protection," was answered and explained fully. She
said the ballot meant protection; it meant much more; it means
education, progress, advancement, elevation for the oppressed
classes, drawing a glowing comparison between the working classes
of England and those of the United States. She scorned the idea
of an aristocracy based upon two accidents of the body. She paid
an eloquent tribute to Kansas, the pioneer in all reforms, and
said that it would be the best advertisement that Kansas could
have to give the ballot to women, for thousands now waiting and
uncertain, would flock to our State, and a vast tide of
emigration would continually roll toward Kansas until her broad
and fertile prairies would be peopled. It is useless to attempt
to report her address, as she could hardly find a place to stop.
When she had done, her opponent had nothing to say, he had been
beaten on his own ground, and retired with his feathers drooping.
After Miss Brown had closed, some one in the audience called for
a vote on the female proposition. The vote was put, and nearly
every man and woman in the house rose simultaneously, men that
had fought the proposition from the first arose, even Judge
Sears himself looked as though he would like to rise, but his
principles, much tempted, forbade. After the first vote, Judge
Sears called for a vote on his, the negro proposition, when about
one-half the house arose. Verily there was a great turning to the
Lord that day, and many would have been baptized, but there was
no water. When Mrs. Stanton has passed through Oscaloosa, her
fame having gone before her, we can count on a good majority for
Female Suffrage....
* * * *


OSCALOOSA, October 11, 1867.

SALINA, KANSAS, Sept. 12, 1867.

DEAR FRIEND:--We are getting along splendidly. Just the frame of
a Methodist church with sidings and roof, and rough cotton-wood
boards for seats, was our meeting place last night here; and a
perfect jam it was, with men crowded outside at all the windows.
Two very brave young Kentuckian sprigs of the law had the courage
to argue or present sophistry on the other side. The meeting
continued until eleven o'clock. To-day we go to Ellsworth, the
very last trading post on the frontier. A car load of wounded
soldiers went East on the train this morning; but the fight was a
few miles West of Ellsworth. No Indians venture to that point.

Our tracts gave out at Solomon, and the Topeka people failed to
fill my telegraphic order to send package here. It is enough to
exhaust the patience of any "Job" that men are so wanting in
promptness. Our tracts do more than half the battle; reading
matter is so very scarce that everybody clutches at a book of any
kind. If only reformers would supply this demand with the right
and the true--come in and occupy the field at the beginning--they
might mould these new settlements. But instead they wait until
everything is fixed, and the comforts and luxuries obtainable,
and then come to find the ground preoccupied.

Send 2,000 of Curtis' speeches, 2,000 of Phillips', 2,000 of
Beecher's, and 1,000 of each of the others, and then fill the
boxes with the reports of our last convention; they are the best
in the main because they have everybody's speeches together.

S. B. A.


HOME OF EX-GOV. ROBINSON,
LAWRENCE, KANSAS, Sept. 15, 1867.

I rejoice greatly in the $100 from the Drapers.[82] That makes
$250 paid toward the tracts. I am very sorry Mr. J. can not get
off Curtis and Beecher. There is a perfect greed for our tracts.
All that great trunk full were sold and given away at our first
fourteen meetings, and we in return received $110, which a little
more than paid our railroad fare--_eight cents per mile_--and
hotel bills. Our collections thus far fully equal those at the
East. I have been delightfully disappointed, for everybody said I
couldn't raise money in Kansas meetings. I wish you were here to
make the tour of this beautiful State, in which to live fifty
years hence will be charming; but now, alas, the women especially
see hard times; to come actually in contact with all their
discomforts and privations spoils the poetry of pioneer life.
The opposition, the "Anti-Female Suffragists," are making a bold
push now; but all prophesy a short run for them. They held a
meeting here the day after ours, and the friends say, did vastly
more to make us converts than we ourselves did. The fact is
nearly every man of the movers is like Kalloch, notoriously
wanting in right action toward woman. Their opposition is low and
scurrilous, as it used to be fifteen and twenty years ago at the
East. Hurry on the tracts.

As ever, S.



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